Vatican Library

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Information Technology Center (C.E.D.)


The IT Center of the Vatican Library was opened in 1985. It uses a Geac 8000/F system with about ten terminals in serial connection at 9,600 bps. The birth of the URBS network, five years later, brought about a substantial upgrade of the system, and the number of terminals was increased to about fifty, of which fifteen have a baseband connection to the relevant remote access points at 9,600 bps.

Centro Elaborazione Dati nel 1990
In 1993, when the retroactive catalogue of the Vatican Library was begun, the UNIX operating system was adopted, together with an Ethernet network for internal connections and CDN connections to remote servers, with speeds from 64 Kbps to 2Mbps, depending on the remote institutions.
Today, the IT Center of the Vatican Library is structured in two class C networks which broadcast in the domain "". These two networks are protected internally by two first-level firewalls in a Linux Red Hat environment, and are connected to the Vatican Internet Office by two 100-Mbit fiber optic lines, which will soon be expanded to 1 Gbit.

Centro Elaborazione Dati nel 2009
Within these networks, a server farm is located on CISCO equipment with a 4-Gbit backbone fiber optic connection, with 10 floor distributors which provide services on lines of class 5E and 6 to remote clients at 100Mbits.

In addition, 27 servers form the Power Core of the IT Center, of which 7 are in a UNIX AIX environment, 19 in a Linux SUSE and Red Hat environment, and 3 in a Microsoft environment (virtualized on Linux systems with VMWare). The 170 PC's which are used by the employees of the Vatican Library and by the School of Library Science use the Operating System Windows XP SP2.

The services provided by the IT Center with the above-mentioned equipment are as follows:
  • E-mail server and webmail for the domain
  • Back-up server for e-mail and webmail for the domain, with a secondary external server.
  • Catalogue server for the Catalogues of Printed Books, of Manuscripts, of Coins and Medals, of Graphic materials and Art objects, of Archival Materials.
  • Back-up for the catalogue server and front-end system with web interface for the aforementioned catalogues; e-commerce web server for the Vatican Library and for the planned new scientific portal.
  • Servers for administrative, staff and reader management.
  • RFID security and traceability control system with a z3950 connection to the database, using both the LAN and the access points in the Reading Rooms.
  • DNS server and reverse name.
  • 24-Terabyte storage for the digital archive.
The projects which began in 2007 and are scheduled to be completed during the biennium 2008-2009 ar:

  • This name refers to the entire hardware and software package which will administer the processing of the various requests which are received by the Library (photocopies, microfilms, slides, photographs, digital photographs, etc.).

  • Prima della riapertura della BAV si ultimeranno i lavori per la copertura WiFi delle sale di consultazione e dei magazzini. In questo modo gli studiosi e il personale della Biblioteca potranno accedere ai servizi erogati dalla BAV con un collegamento senza fili. Saranno disponibili due tipi di accessi: BAV-WIFI-NET, ad uso esclusivo dei dipendenti e BAV-OSPITI, ad uso degli studiosi.

  • The goal is to increase the number of access points in the Reading Rooms; to open wireless access at the work desks also to appropriately certified laptop computers; and to move all the operating systems from the Microsoft XP environment to Linux SUSE or equivalent.

  • This is a complement to the Security Project.
    With this development we hope to integrate the RFID chip security control with control via video recording.

  • These new offices already have telephone and network wiring and are connected to the Vatican Library's IT Center with fiber optic cables. They are an integral part of our IT system, with 12 access points which can be increased to a maximum of 72, which are used for computer cataloguing processes.

Network e Server

Network BAV
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